Is hamnet historical fiction?

Asked by: Florian Boyer V
Score: 4.9/5 (16 votes)

Maggie O'Farrell's most recent novel, “Hamnet,” is based on the death of Shakespeare's son. If you buy books linked on our site, The Times may earn a commission from, whose fees support independent bookstores. Maggie O'Farrell's eighth novel, “Hamnet,” is nominally a work of historical fiction.

What kind of book is Hamnet?

—The Boston Globe

O'Farrell brilliantly turns to historical fiction to confront a parent's worst nightmare: the death of a child... Hamnet vividly captures the life-changing intensity of maternity in its myriad stages — from the pain of childbirth to the unassuagable grief of loss.

Is Hamnet a best seller?

About Hamnet

In 1580's England, during the Black Plague a young Latin tutor falls in love with an extraordinary, eccentric young woman in this “exceptional historical novel” (The New Yorker) and best-selling winner of the Women's Prize for Fiction.

Is Hamnet a good book?

“Hamnet” is an exploration of marriage and grief written into the silent opacities of a life that is at once extremely famous and profoundly obscure. [ The editors of The Book Review chose this as one of the 10 best books of 2020. ]

39 related questions found

What does the ending of Hamnet mean?

It follows their relationship as they deal with their grief over the death of their son Hamnet, the implications of Will's career and Will's infidelity. In the end, Will writes the play Hamlet as a farewell to his son -- it's a play where the father dies instead of the son and the ghost's final line is "Remember me."

How much of Hamnet is fact?

The agreed facts are that Hamnet was indeed twin brother to Shakespeare's second daughter, Judith, and that he died at the age of 11.

Is Hamlet named after Hamnet?

Hamnet was probably named after Shakespeare's friend, Hamnet Sadler, but the names Hamnet and Hamlet were actually interchangeable; in 1616, Shakespeare left money in his will to “Hamlett Sadler” instead of “Hamnet Sadler” (qtd. In Greenblatt 2004).

Where does the name Hamnet come from?

Hamnet is named after William Shakespeare's only son, who died aged 11 in 1596; a few years later, Shakespeare wrote Hamlet. According to Shakespeare scholar Stephen Greenblatt, the names Hamnet and Hamlet were entirely interchangeable at the time, and O'Farrell is interested in determining the connection.

Will Hamnet be a movie?

Maggie O'Farrell's award-winning book Hamnet, which won the 2020 Women's Prize for Fiction, will be adapted into a film, with a screenplay by Chiara Atik. Produced by Amblin, Hera Pictures and Neal Street Productions (The Lehman Trilogy on stage), the film will be produced by Liza Marshall, Sam Mendes and Pippa Harris.

What should I read after Hamnet?

If you loved Hamnet as much as I did, you might also love these books about plagues, familial love, grief, and Shakespeare himself.
  • Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks. ...
  • King of Shadows by Susan Cooper. ...
  • Little by Edward Carey. ...
  • A Mercy by Toni Morrison. ...
  • The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich.

Where is Shakespeare buried?

William Shakespeare was in fact Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, and is buried in Westminster Abbey, not the Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon, according to a scholar who is the grandson of the novelist Evelyn Waugh.

What did Shakespeare leave his wife in his will?

Shakespeare famously left his wife, Anne Hathaway, his 'second best bed'.

What is a sad play called?

Tragicomedy is a literary genre that blends aspects of both tragic and comic forms. Most often seen in dramatic literature, the term can describe either a tragic play which contains enough comic elements to lighten the overall mood or a serious play with a happy ending.

What was Shakespeare's son called?

Hamnet Shakespeare was the only son of William Shakespeare, and a twin to Judith. Hamnet Shakespeare was named after Hamnet Sadler, a friend of the Shakespeare family.

What was Shakespeare's wife called?

Who was Shakespeare's Wife? William Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway in November 1582 and they remained married until Shakespeare's death. At the time of their marriage William was 18, while Anne was 26—and pregnant with their first child.

Did Shakespeare lose a son?

Hamnet: a play for Shakespeare's forgotten son (and one 11-year-old actor) ... Hamnet may be a footnote in history but he was in fact William Shakespeare's only son. He died at just 11 years old – largely abandoned by his famous father, who was making his name in London – in 1596.

How many plays did Shakespeare write in total?

Shakespeare's Works

Shakespeare wrote at least 38 plays and over 150 short and long poems, many of which are considered to be the finest ever written in English.

Who killed Macbeth?

Malcolm then gained control of the southern part of Scotland and spent the next three years pursuing Macbeth, who fled to the north. On August 15, 1057, Macbeth was defeated and killed by Malcolm at the Battle of Lumphanan with the assistance of the English.

What was the name of the period in which Shakespeare lived?

William Shakespeare

Shakespeare lived from 1567 to 1616. Scholars and historians often refer to him being a part of the Elizabethan Era, the period of English history during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, which lasted from 1558 - 1603, and was itself part of the larger Tudor Period.

How did Shakespeare make most of his money?

Shakespeare prospered financially from his partnership in the Lord Chamberlain's Men (later the King's Men), as well as from his writing and acting. He invested much of his wealth in real-estate purchases in Stratford and bought the second-largest house in town, New Place, in 1597.